Comment insults Indians

2012-11-17 00:00

A BEAUTY pageant contender who insulted Indians with a derogatory online post about Diwali has earned herself a hate page on Facebook.

And her infamy has ensured hundreds of comments, very few in her defence, have flooded in from irate members of the public.

Caroline Ashworth, a contestant in the Miss Ballito pageant, this week vented her frustration with Diwali and the noisy fireworks used in celebrations.

She wrote on her Facebook page: “To the Indians who call this celebrating, seriously this is f#cking ridiculous!! I hate you people letting off fireworks! so inconsiderate – you don’t deserve health, wealth, prosperity or any other of the things that Diwali is supposed to bring you!!!”

She was immediately branded a racist and sponsors of the pageant quickly distanced themselves from her.

Fairmont Zimbali Resort, which hosted the pageant in August, denied they had sponsored her, although their name was attached to Ashworth’s on the night.

“The company has never sponsored Caroline Ashworth and was not involved in her selection as a finalist in the competition.

“Neither did we choose her as an ambassador for our brand,” said Joanne du Plooy, spokesperson for Zimbali Lodge and Resort.

She said the pageant organisers had “assigned two sponsors to each contestant for the purpose of introducing sponsors to the audience on the evening of the pageant”.

Ashworth was assigned Zimbali and CMH Alfa Romeo.

“This was the extent of our involvement with the contestant in question.

“We are not involved with Caroline Ashworth in her personal capacity in any manner,” added Du Plooy.

The company said it would remove comments related to the story made on all its digital channels.

Weekend Witness tried to get comment from CMH Alfa Romeo, but calls and messages were not returned.

Ashworth could not be contacted for comment either. However, the offending post has been removed from her Facebook profile.

A Facebook group criticising Ashworth in crude terms quickly attracted more than 1 000 admirers.

While some called for a level-headed approach to the controversy, most spared Ashworth no sympathy.

“Infidel! Off with her head!!!” wrote Tamara Sasha Chetty.

Ranvir Honieg Devanpershad said: “I hate fireworks but what she said was absolutely racist! I never grew up with Indian people but this just offends me because not ONLY INDIAN people burst fireworks! Go to Ballito on New Year’s n ul see what I mean!”

Gerald Umraw tried for diplomacy: “Ever heard of 2 wrongs not making a right? Those who commented discourteously are no better than she is. Don’t utter a racist comment to counteract another, that makes you equally as racist.”

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